Territory Labor have been embarrassingly caught out stealing the Coalition’s successful defence procurement policies.

CLP Senator Nigel Scullion and CLP Candidates Kathy Ganley and Jacinta Price, have accused Territory Labor of extreme hypocrisy for shamelessly copying and rebadging the Coalition’s Defence Local Industry Capability Plans policy as their own.

Senator Nigel Scullion said that Labor could not be trusted on defence spending given they cut more than $18 billion out of defence when they were last in office.

“It seems Territory Labor also think that the whole purpose of defence projects is to prop up Michael Gunner’s failed government rather than to build the defence infrastructure and capabilities we need to keep Australians safe.

“One thing I do know about Territorians is that they can see through a hollow promise a mile away and they are not as stupid as Territory Labor thinks they are.

“They know that the $8 billion in Territory defence projects the the Coalition Government has funded between 2016-2026 have been carefully developed through our Defence White Paper.

“It’s also pretty bloody obvious that Luke Gosling has been asleep at the wheel for the past three years if he didn’t know about the Coalition’s success on local procurement,” Senator Scullion said today.

CLP Candidate for Solomon, Kathy Ganley, said through responsible budget management, the Coalition had not only worked hard to restore Territory Labor’s savage $18 billion defence funding cuts, and ensured that local Territory companies, contractors and tradies won a fairer and bigger slice of the work.

“The Defence Local Industry Capability Plans introduced by then Defence Minister Marise Payne in 2017 have been a game changer for Territory businesses and have been a resounding success story.

“Under the Coalition’s policies, more than 90 per cent of Northern Territory defence contracts have gone to Territory business, contractors and workers.

“So not only are we investing more than Labor ever will into the defence infrastructure Australia needs, but more Territorian workers and businesses are better off as a result of our efforts,” Ms Ganley said today.

CLP Candidate for Lingiari, Jacinta Price, said that Labor can’t be trusted when it comes to the defence and security of our nation.

“Remember not only did Labor cut $18 billion from defence, but they completely lost control of our borders which saw 50,000 boat arrivals and more than $10 billion in detention cost blowouts.

“Our defence personnel who risk their lives, and indeed all Territorians, will be appalled at Labor’s attempt to use defence projects to somehow prop up the worst Territory government since self-government,” Ms Price said today.

The Coalition is investing $8 Billion in Top End Defence infrastructure.

The Northern Territory is home to over 5,500 Defence personnel and has a number of key operational bases, including HMAS Coonawarra, Robertson Barracks, and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bases Tindal and Darwin.

The Territory is a big beneficiary of the Coalition’s Defence spending including:

  • Larrakeyah Defence Precinct Redevelopment Program. This $495.5 million program will upgrade critical base infrastructure. Expected expenditure on this project is $81.2 million in 2019-20.
  • Provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction of the P-8A aircraft around the country, including at RAAF Base Darwin. Expected expenditure in the NT on this project is $63.9 million in 2019-20.
  • Jindalee Operational Radar Networks (JORN) Phase 6 Facilities Project. This $50.7 million program is scheduled for completion in late 2020. There will be priority works near Alice Springs. Expected expenditure on this project is $33.0 million in 2019-20.
  • Upgrading air traffic management supporting infrastructure at RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal. Expected expenditure in the NT on this project is $26.5 million in 2019-20.
  • Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability Facilities. Expected expenditure in the NT on this project is $20.0 million in 2019-20.
  • Explosive Ordnance Logistics Reform Program at RAAF Base Darwin. Expected expenditure in the NT on this project is $2.7 million in 2019-20.
  • Joint Health Command Garrison Facilities Upgrades at Robertson Barracks and Larrakeyah Barracks. Expected expenditure in the NT on this project is $13.9 million in 2019-20.
  • RAAF Base Tindal Redevelopment Stage 6. Construction is planned to commence in early 2020 and be completed by late 2024.
  • United States Force Posture Initiative RAAF Base Tindal Airfields Works and Associated Infrastructure. Construction is planned to commence in early 2020 and be completed by late 2024.
  • The Armidale class patrol boat in-service activities undertaken in both Darwin and Cairns with an expected expenditure of $116 million in 2019-20.